How Bad Coffee Became Popular in the United States

In a decoctive episode essay for Cheddar, producer Sylvie Borschel takes a look at the daily coffee habits of co-workers and asks “How “Bad” Coffee Took Over America”. In doing so, she speaks with the founders of Birch Coffee and other coffee drinkers to find out what exactly constitutes a good cup of coffee and how low quality coffee became so popular in the United States.

Instant coffee started making the rounds during World War One. American soldiers were drinking the coffee daily to increase mental awareness and mobility during battle, and they needed something to make quickly in the field. This instant fix became addicting, and when soldiers went home they wanted something familiar and tasty. …When people drink a cup of coffee, they’re not focusing on the components of the coffee. They’re focusing on whether or not they can actually drink the cup of coffee. So what they do is they add milk, and they add tons of sugar, and they add all these other things to make it taste like what they believe coffee is supposed to taste like.